Feeling stressed? You’re not alone. Call specialists for 211, the 24-hour information and referral center supported across the US. and Canada, fielded thousands of calls about mental health last year, and connected callers to local resources. If you need help, connect with 211 now.
There’s hope. For those struggling with anxiety and mental health, there are self-care and coping strategies that are helpful. As we join in observing Mental Health Awareness Month throughout the month of May, here are 5 ways you can help protect and improve your mental health:
- Put yourself first. Treat yourself as kindly as you would treat others. Make time for the things you love to do.
- Take care of your body. Good nutrition and physical activity can go a long way to protecting and improving mental health.
- Keep good company. A strong familial or social network predicts good mental health. Make plans with others and make new friends through activities you enjoy.
- Set some goals. Make them modest and manageable, and enjoy the mental boost as you accomplish them.
- Mix it up. Routines are good for efficiency and feeling secure, but trying a new bike path, hobby, or project is good for our brains.
But you can do all these things at once! How? Volunteer your time and energy to help someone else. Research suggests that volunteers aren’t just helping the communities they serve. People who volunteer experience a boost in their mental health. You’ll feel good – mentally and physically – and odds are you will enjoy your fellow volunteers, who have chosen to serve for the same reasons.